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Survivors on Healing from Depression and PTSD

Whether you are a month or a decade into your healing journey, intentionality and consistency is the most important element of healing. The need for self-care and rejuvenation makes us human and should be embraced as a tool for working through trauma and bettering ourselves. Whether you are dealing with depression, anxiety, self-harm, or PTSD, you are worthy of wholeness.

Here are 4 points to help you practice intentionality in caring for yourself:

1. Find Your Safe Space

As survivors, it can be easy to feel like a burden. The feeling of loneliness and sadness lingers, even when you disguise it with a smile. In these moments, it is important to have a safe space and routine for centering yourself.
For me, the dark is my safe space, but when I light a candle I am reminded that I do not have to hide. In the moments when you feel unloved, practice loving on yourself. Speak out loud what you wish you could feel, and take time to breathe!

2. Decide What Justice Looks Like to You

You are not to blame for the pain that was caused to you. 
I am so sorry that you did not receive the justice you so needed and wanted. I know that right now, the only way you feel you can obtain justice is by inflicting pain upon yourself because it is something you can control. But self-harm will not bring you peace.
Tell the people you trust what justice would look like to you, so that they can help you move towards it. From there, be patient with yourself as you shift your perspective. You don’t have to punish yourself through the pain, you deserve a life full of hope and healing.

3. Stay Present in the Moment

Give yourself permission to relax and enjoy the now. Brainstorm practices and rituals to put in place that will make you feel safe and taken care of. You can plan your days in a way that prevents you from becoming overwhelmed with life.
May you find rest when you go to sleep. I hope that one day, your life will not be unsafe and centered on protecting yourself. You deserve to sleep without drowning in sweat. You deserve to wake up and feel refreshed. You deserve to move forward in your life. Enjoy the present without feeling like you are reliving the same day over and over again. You are worthy of a fresh start.

4. Share Your Burden

You are not alone, but I understand that you feel that way right now. When you are ready, reach out to those you trust so that they can hold your hand through this healing journey.
I want you to know that it is okay for people to take care of you. It is okay to share your worries. You have made it through your past trauma and you have come out strong. You will make it through today and tomorrow because you are resilient.

The butterfly hug

Try this butterfly hug exercise to center and calm yourself whenever you feel your anxiety rising. This is a helpful exercise to bring their bodies to awareness and safety. To support your mental health journey, we also have a print-out version with instructions to use for personal or organizational use. Get the download below!

Download the Butterfly Hug PDF

BY JEAN NANGWALA

Jean’s passion for social justice stems from her personal experience of injustice and witnessing the same inequality across the globe. She holds an undergraduate degree in psychology and a minor in media studies. During her undergraduate studies, Jean volunteered at a juvenile facility and witnessed the gravity that broken systems have on the lives of the vulnerable. Her passion is exploring new policies which will help alleviate systems that perpetuate social injustice. She is currently interning with a United Nations affiliated organization and works with the United Nations Ecumenical Women Initiative in New York City. Her dream of working for the UN will allow her to continue her mission of empowering women to bring critical changes to society.

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